Although seeing Lime scooters sitting on street corners or leaning against traffic lights is now a familiar sight to most Edina residents, after a series of complaints against the scooters, there’s a chance that they won’t be around for much longer.
According to the Lime website, their bikes and electric scooters were designed to “reduce dependence on personal automobiles for short distance transportation and leave future generations with a cleaner, healthier planet.” The hope was that people would use them, rather than cars, for nearby errands and short commutes. The scooters and bikes are rented via a QR code, which charges the user (an initial cost of $1 + and then 15 cents per minute in the Minneapolis area) and activates the scooter. After the program was well received by residents in Minneapolis, the Edina City Council approved the expansion into Edina in 2018, and clusters of neon-green scooters began to appear around the city.
However, an influx of complaints against the scooters in the last year may result in the termination of the program. One of the largest sources of irritation is that the scooters are frequently left lying in the middle of the sidewalk or in yards. “It’s kind of a pain when [riders] leave them in front of your house or in the middle of the street,” junior KC Lin said.
Others have noted that the scooters are rarely used for their intended purpose. “[Riders are] usually middle schoolers who are hanging out. I saw a lot of them in the summer; they went to the park or Uptown,” Lin said.
The relative lack of bike lanes in Edina compared to Minneapolis means that the scooters are frequently used on sidewalks, which can endanger pedestrians and violates city ordinances. Additionally, both the helmet and 18-and-over age requirements are rarely obeyed by users.
However, there’s still a chance that the scooters will reappear next summer as the Edina City Council has yet to make an official decision. “I feel like they’re a good idea, but at the same time, they could be kept up a little better,” junior Julianne Browne said. However, given the lack of zest for the scooters, it looks like Edina residents will need to find other ways of reducing carbon emissions.